#BlogTour #BookReview #Extract - The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of.

Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and
doting grandparents.

Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Watcher today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Rachel Gilbey at Authoright for inviting me to take part and for my advance copy received in return for my honest review.
Before I share my…

Book Review - Where She Went by B.E. Johnson




TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn't recognise. It's not the first time - but he ignores her even though she's in his bed. Yet when his wife walks in with a cup of tea he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or her hear her - because she is dead.
But has she woken up next to her murderer? And where is her body? Why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can't leave; is she tied to this man forever? Is Melanie being punished in some way, or being given a chance to make amends?
As she begins to piece together the last days of her life and circumstances leading up to her own death it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment out to the man who murdered her.

I loved the description for Where She Went - there are plenty of books where a victim's last days need to be pieced together before justice can be realised but it's rare to have the victim doing the work. They are dead after all... When Melanie wakes up in a strange bed, next to a strange man she doesn't understand the awful truth at first. It's only when she realises that nobody can see her that she begins to recall the events that would eventually lead to her death.
Where She Went is written in the first person. In some books this doesn't always quite work, you could swap the pronouns to make it a third person without drastically altering the feel of the book. Not so with this one, B.E. Johnson lets Melanie tell her story. It's colloquial, jumbled, personal and, considering it's a story about a ghost, completely believable.
Melanie is an odd character. Truth be told, I didn't actually like her very much. In life and in death she's manipulative, judgemental and selfish. Throughout the book I had conflicting emotions towards her, from the initial empathy towards a character suddenly discovering she has woken up a murder victim, through to distaste, downright anger, pity, sympathy and fear - she is actually quite sinister at times. However, despite being a character I don't think I'd want as a friend, I was still rooting for her, partly because it was so refreshing having a fully three dimensional victim - flaws and all - but also because Peter, the man she woke up next to, is a truly vile character. For all Melanie's faults I really wanted her to ensure Peter got his comeuppance. He is a narcissistic misogynist and control freak but as we learn about his past I did feel a little sympathy towards him. His wife, Eve is the most likeable adult in the book (they have a little boy, Adam who is adorable although the influence of his father is already disturbing at times). Melanie despises what she sees as weakness but as the book progresses we learn Eve has dark secrets of her own.
As we finally learn the full truth about Melanie's death I was gripped by the twists and turns. Obviously I'm not going to give anything away suffice to say I was genuinely surprised to discover what actually happened. The book cleverly finishes with an ending that is really quite chilling. If you're looking for a thriller that's a bit different Where She Went could be just what you're looking for.
Many thanks to the publishers for my copy, received through Netgalley in return for my unbiased review.

Where She Went will be published in the UK by Little, Brown Book Group on 27th July 2017.

You can follow B.E. Johnson on Twitter as @bevjoneswriting and the publishers as @LittleBrownUK. The author's website is here.

About the Author

Beverley is a former journalist and police press officer, now the author of four contemporary crime novels. Her latest chiller ‘Where She Went’ is published by LittleBrown under the name B E Jones and has a supernatural twist that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Bev was born in the South Wales valleys, north of Cardiff. She started her journalism career with Trinity Mirror newspapers, writing for The Rhondda Leader and The Western Mail, before becoming a broadcast journalist with BBC Wales Today in Cardiff.

She has worked on all aspects of crime reporting producing stories for newspapers and live TV. Most recently Bev worked as a press officer for South Wales Police, dealing with the media and participating in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

She channels her experiences of ‘true crime,’ and her insight into the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers.

Comments

  1. I don't find myself reading ghost stories very much but when I do they're usually pretty good! This one sounds really interesting and like it could be a good read!

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    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed reading a supernatural thriller!

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